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Title: ... p109 - Gavin Miller comments memories of GM by Greg Ellis - Griffith, ACT

Miller was a football brain, and that's how I remember him, one of the great thinkers and tacticians


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Greg Ellis - Griffith, ACT

St George



For the Gavin Miller page.

I've never been a Cronulla supporter as such though I was an abosolute acolyte of two of their players: Rogers senior of course (true Rugby League Royalty, he of blessed memory), and Gavin Miller. 

I know this is supposed to be a website about hard men of the game and certainly Miller was no push over! But the fact is - as testifed above by others - Miller was a football brain, and that's how I remember him, one of the great thinkers and tacticians of League who also just happened to be able to tackle like a freight train. 

For me, Gavin was involved in one of the two moments in Rugby League that most expose the vacuity of those people who say that League is all braun and no brain.  These moments were:
1. when Drs. George Peponis and Nathan Gibbs shook hands on Redfern oval as captains of Canterbury and Souths; and 
2. A moment in the Cronulla-Parramatta 'demonstration' match in Perth (must have been the mid 80s when the ARL was trying to foster a team in Perth).  It happened quickly but quite distinctly and easily heard on replay. The ball is swung wide to Parrammatta's still dangerous Brett Kenny in space and over the microphone is the unmistakable rapid barking of Cronulla captain Gavin Miller to his defence "he's going to duck, he's going to duck, watch him! he's going to duck!" at which moment the submlime and totally unconcerned Kenny ducks his head and swerves through the defence as if imitating what Miller had predicted.  Miller's frustrated audible groan then comes over the microphone as if to say "I told you that is what he was going to do!". 

Such was Miller's genius.  He had a subtle intuitive understanding of the game - one we don't perhaps normally associate with someone with a nose like that - and a very nuanced tactical football brain.  Unfortunately, I haven't kept that tape - probably a victim of the obsolescence of the old VHF - and it was a frankly an otherwise unmemorable game.  But while we had the tape, my wife and I would regularly replay it becasue it revealed an intelligence that when expressed by those few great sportsmen using it, is usually inaudible. 

Obviously the moment showed off Kenny's virtuosity (always a delight to see) but the thing that was still more remarkable, was that - even though he couldn't get his troops to stop it happening - it was as if Miller could actually see into the future.

Best wishes
Greg Ellis

Appears in the following pages ....P109_Gavin MILLER
Date of posting ... 05-May-2008
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